Miss Julie's School of Beauty, recently received a significant boost of $125,000 in funding for a initiative aimed at empowering survivors of human trafficking.
Survivors of human trafficking often face immense challenges in reintegrating into society, with many being arrested for crimes they were coerced into during their exploitation. As a result, finding employment becomes difficult due to previous convictions.
The school's director & founder by Julie Chapus, LMSW, is stepping up to address this issue by offering survivors and those at risk a unique opportunity to pursue a career in cosmetology, free of charge.
Graduates from the program will be granted a cosmetology license by the state of New York, eliminating the need for background checks and allowing them to pursue independent living without having to recount their traumatic past.
“Julie Chapus is continuing Rochester’s proud history of innovation,” said Senator Jeremy Cooney. “This new cosmetology school will create a model for the nation in how to provide safety and economic independence to survivors of human trafficking who have suffered deeply traumatic experiences. I am very proud to have secured New York State funding for this school, and look forward to its future success.”
The grant funding will be dedicated to creating a dedicated space for the cosmetology school, located in the historic Sibley Building in Downtown Rochester. The newly constructed facility will be capable of accommodating 8 -16 students at a time, offering a comprehensive 10-month course that includes practical, hands-on training.
"This program will change many lives and give people a bright hope for the future, where there was none. It will build up our community and give our students the tools they need to thrive for years to come," Chapus said.
The significance of Miss Julie's School of Beauty is not lost on community partners either. Ken Greene of WinnCompanies stated, "WinnCompanies is grateful to Julie for choosing Sibley Square to create Miss Julie's School of Beauty. Such important work! It's consistent with the mission of Sibley Square's focus on Innovation, Education, and Incubation and aligns perfectly with WinnCompanies ethos of doing well by doing good."
With the generous funding and strong community support, Miss Julie's School of Beauty is poised to make a lasting impact on the lives of human trafficking survivors, offering them a chance at a promising and fulfilling future.